• To try.
  • To move forth, as into battle.


  • Since late 16th century, borrowed from Middle French essay, essai, meaning coined by Montaigne in the same time, from the same words in earlier meanings 'experiment; assay; attempt', from Old French essay, essai, assay, assai, from Latin exagium ("weight; weighing, testing on the balance"), from exigo + -ium.
  • From Middle French essayer, essaier, from Old French essaiier, essayer, essaier, assaiier, assayer, assaier, from essay, essai, assay, assai as above.

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